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A protocol for developing a complex needs indicator for veterans (CNIV) in the UK

Fadeeva, A. ORCID: 0000-0002-0919-2761, Tiwari, A., Mann, E. & Kiernan, M. D. (2022). A protocol for developing a complex needs indicator for veterans (CNIV) in the UK. Public Health in Practice, 4, 100281. doi: 10.1016/j.puhip.2022.100281


Introduction: The veteran population in the UK has been decreasing, however, there remains a proportion of veterans and their families who continue to experience multiple and complex health, financial, and social needs. The complex problems tend to exacerbate each other and deepen over time if appropriate support is not provided. Identifying the veterans with complex needs is crucial for effective support by military charities and health and social care services. The present research aims to develop a complex needs indicator for the veteran population (CNIV) that will quantify complexity and help to identify the risk of having or developing complex needs.

Methods: The development of the CNIV will be informed by the guidance for constructing composite indicators. The data on grant support received by veterans’ beneficiaries from the UK Royal Marine and SSFA charities will be used for designing the indicator and evaluating its robustness. The crucial step in constructing the indicator is assigning weights to different needs and risk factors associated with complex cases. Factor analysis (FA) and analytical network process (ANP) will be used as weighting methods for the analysed variables.

Conclusion: The development of CNIV has important implications for research and practice, such as the potential to be used as a screening tool for identifying complex cases, improved provision of the targeted support to veterans, assessing the scope of complex problems among veterans within the country and informing policy makers and a more general audience of the complexity of need within the sector.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of The Royal Society for Public Health. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
Publisher Keywords: Veterans, Complex needs, Charities, Health and social care, Composite indicators
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > Sociology & Criminology
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

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